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Heels 1969

Digital Transport : A Dissertation On Hitch-Hiking

Digital Transport : A Dissertation On Hitch-Hiking

My initial premise, is that success in hitch-hiking is to be measured by the ability of the artist to elicit rides with vehicles travelling to a predetermined point. This ability can be enhanced or detracted from by many factors, which should be studied by those not wishing to emulate the venerable A.H.Reed.

From a detailed study made over the previous five years, certain conclusions have been arrived at. These are generally the subject of heated debate in VUWTC cliques.

Rides appear to be more quickly forthcoming if the artist is alone, carrying a pack, resembles a female, looks clean, and carries an ice-axe. Fine days help, as does walking; but don't let that encourage you to walk out of a 30 mph zone, onto an endless Wairarapa straight. Twisty roads are preferable to long straight ones - a driver can see you and stop with less effort and danger if he is only doing 30.

Thumb at each vehicle a maximum of two times, in a short, positive movement, while looking at the driver's face. An aimless reaping gesture, executed repeatedly, while trudging along six feet off the road, not only looks farcical, but is liable to leave you rideless. Vehicles travelling singly are better potential rides than ones travelling in groups; although there have been some fantastic exceptions to this. (Several cars stopping at once, etc.)

"Below the belt" methods can be applied by the crafty. These include chatting up potential rides before they leave the road-end on Sunday afternoon; walking up to drivers obviously able to give you a ride while they are stopped at gas stations or traffic lights. I would only recommend the last mentioned to the absolutely desperate. Politeness and intelligent non-hypocritical conversation can often pay dividends at a later date; but these are lessons of basic humanity anyway. Swarms of other hitch-hikers are a menace; you may be stranded for ages. Swift walking is a cure for this complaint.

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Accept all rides, (except the obviously dangerous), going in your direction - farm tractors, steam engines, motor boats, earth movers, river buggies, motor bikes -the lot. I have had rides on most of these, and it's great fun.

No type of vehicle can be stated as having certain riding potential, although the Holden Station Wagon comes close to this ideal. Religious workers and tradesmen are among the most philanthropic towards hitch-hikers, apart from drivers-by-occupation. State of mind seems to play an important part. The unexpected is always happening, and the unemotional approach is a good one, especially in adverse circumstances.

Hitch-hiking can be a fabulous colourful kaleidoscope of life; for some it is a painful ordeal. There are exceptions to all the rules of hitch-hiking, except the following:- "In order to hitch hike successfully, there must be traffic travelling in your direction."